FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne families can ring in the holiday season with a beloved annual celebration at the Broadway Plaza.

Christmas on Broadway returns Nov. 17 at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Shine & Hardin law firm, whose partners were the ones to create the holiday event 19 years ago.

A parade through Broadway will be led by the marching band from Concordia Lutheran High School, followed by a fire truck carrying Santa Claus himself. The parade route is set to start at Broadway and Creighton and end at the Broadway Plaza just in time for the lighting of the 40-foot tree at 6 p.m.

To highlight Erin’s House for Grieving Children, kids with the non-profit will be the ones to light up the Colorado Blue Spruce this year, donned with 40,000 lights. Learn more about the organization, which provides grief support groups for families, on the website.

The tree is dedicated to the late Richard Franke, a former co-owner of the Fort Wayne Komets who was one of the holiday event’s biggest supporters over the years along with his family, organizers said in the release.

In the plaza, Santa will be joined by his helpers as they give Santa hats to the children in the crowd. Kids will even have the chance to pet a reindeer and take a ride on the miniature “Polar Express”.

New to this year’s plans are two trucks with food and drinks: Smoking J’s, which has “meat, mac and more”, along with Travelin’ Tom’s Coffee Truck.